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Thaksin's wife returns to Thailand to face graft charges

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  • Thaksin Shinawatra's wife handed arrest warrant after she returns to Thailand
  • Pojamarn Shinawatra faces corruption charges that could imprison her for 20 years
  • The case involves Pojamarn's 2003 purchase of some prime Bangkok real estate
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BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- The wife of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived in Thailand Tuesday morning to face corruption charges, promising to fight the accusations, her attorney said.

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Pojamarn Shinawatra with her husband Thaksin Shinawatra.

According to Pichit Chuenban, Pojamarn Shinawatra was presented with an arrest warrant shortly after arriving at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport and was escorted by authorities to the Supreme Court.

"She intends to fight all charges through judicial system," Pichit said.

Greeted by about 50 well-wishers, Pojamarn arrived at court accompanied by her three children. She faces charges stemming from a Bangkok land deal and a stock concealment plan that could put her in jail for up to eight years, according to the Thai News Agency.

The court released her on 5 million baht (about $168,000) bail and ordered her not to leave the country.

On Monday, Thaksin's attorney Noppadon Pattama said the former prime minister would return from exile in mid-April to answer to the same charges his wife faces. He was deposed by a military junta in Sept. 2006 and fled to London. He plans to return after Thailand's new government is in place.

In December's parliamentary elections, supporters of Thaksin, the People Power Party, won nearly half the seats in the lower house and will lead the ruling coalition.

PPP leader Samak Sundaravej said a new parliament controlled by his party would pass an amnesty law to allow Thaksin's return and amend the constitution to let Thaksin get back into politics.

Thaksin said he would not re-enter politics when he returned to Thailand. He said that he and his family had "suffered enough" but that he wanted to face the charges against him and prove his innocence.

Thaksin is a 58-year-old telecommunications tycoon who owns the English Premier League Manchester City Football Club. Thaksin's party won two landslide victories before he was deposed. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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